De La Salle College Ashfield
Studies of Religion 1
Task 2 2014
Describe the core ethical teachings of Judaism?
There are many crucial core ethical teachings of Judaism which all have a positive effect on the religion. These include the 10 commandments, 613 mitzvot, written and oral Torah, the prophetic vision and the book of proverbs. The most importance source of ethical guidance for Jewish people is the Torah. The word Torah means to teach and is known as the Jewish written law. Within it includes the Written and Oral Torah. The Torah consists of five books of the Hebrew Bible; Genesis, Leviticus, Exodus, Deuteronomy and Numbers. Included within them are the biblical laws of Judaism. These were given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai. The written Torah refers to the 24 books of the Bible and was written by the prophets. The oral Torah refers to the explanations, insights, spirituality, ethics that the Torah alludes to.
Different components of the Torah give ethical guidance to difference degrees of specificity. The 613 mitzvot provide the application of Jewish ethical principles. They are regarded as the foundational element of Jewish ethics. The 613 mitzvot can be further divided into two categories, positive mitzvot and negative mitzvot. Positive mitzvot are commands to perform an act, for example grace after meals. Negative mitzvot are commands to refrain from doing something, for example not believing in any other god. The Ten Commandments, known also as the Decalogue can be regarded as a refining of the 613 mitzvot (248 positive) and (365 negative) as they contain the essence of the more major commandments. The Ten Commandments are a foundational part of the Jewish ethical system which can be separated into two groups. The first five commandments are about the relationship between God...